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Why Timmy's Not Getting an IPad Anytime Soon

This morning I read this article entitled, "Why You Should Not Buy Your Child an IPad" and the author mentioned that it's more productive to have a child go outside and play basketball or build a fort.  Although the author of the articple mentioned that the IPad has e-book and read-aloud capabiltities, he's never seen a child reading an e-book while using it.  The cool apps just "suck a child in" and affect a child's desire to go out and make friends and be active. 

Why am I mentioning this, as I'm a missionary writing about events in Paraguay?

Because it affects me.  Yesterday, while eating with some dear friends at their home in the capital, we were introduced to their new daughter-in-law.  She's smart, beautiful, in her mid-twenties and she couldn't look us in the eyes because they were glued to her smartphone.  I couldn't believe how addicted she was to hearing the "beep" of a new text message.  She couldn't even carry on a conversation, because her dialogue was with a little piece of plastic and a mystery person on the other end.

On our way home we were talking about how this attractive young lady didn't have the social graces to turn off her phone during the meal and be present in conversation with some out-of-town guests. Even in a developing world country like Paraguay I'm starting to get worried that machines are going to replace relationships in the younger generations. That's what I've loved about drive through banking, no automatic grocery check outs, I still have to get to relate to people. 

Also, when we took our brother-in-law out for his birthday this week, there were some famous soccer players eating dinner with their families and the daughters (maybe 5-7 years old) had Ipads at the table.  It was an obvious plan of the parents to use the technology as a babysitter during their meal so they could talk adult lingo, since the young girls were at one end and the parents at the other. 

Experts are beginning to use a term called "Tech isolation." It's a phenomenon caused by technical saturation and it's flooding college campuses.  The article says, "A college square used to be a social Mecca buzzing with activity and conversation. Today, students listen to iPods or have their noses buried in laptops, a kind of self-imposed solitary confinement not unlike cubicle work life."

Don't get me wrong, the IPad has a lot of benefits.  An IPad will keep your kids out of our hair for hours on end, and you'll make sure they look "cool" among their friends.  Call me an un-cool mom.  You'll find me playing an old-fashioned game of chutes-n-ladders with my son, and just digging in the sand with my daughter.

What do you think?  Why would or wouldn't you buy your child an IPad?


  1. great thoughts! we're right there with ya! love your new header picture!

  2. Very well put and couldn't agree more. While still in US, we also keep our kindergarten'er locked firmly in the "pre-digital age" for the most part. We hope it'll be easier to maintain this mode upon arriving in PY late this year. We have noted though that social media sites and smart phones have become all the rage down there over the past few years. As little as ten years ago this wasn't the case. Guess you can't shut down "progress" no matter how negative.

  3. AGREED! My girls want cell phones so badly, because "everyone" has them, even here. And everyone is constantly texting or facebooking, like you said. I'm all for living in the NOW, being with those who are RIGHT THERE with you, and not existing on some sort of other plane, if that makes sense. I remember complaining about this about 15 years ago, when phones were just getting text capabilities and everyone was zoned out. And it just gets worse. I've been known to call people out at the table or when we're in a circle: "Are you with us?" "Claro q si!" "No, REALLY with US?" And it definitely stunts social skills, in my humble opinion. It's kinda my soapbox... glad to know I'm not the only one who sees it this way!!


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